Organizing science: Societies, academies, journals
Universities were dedicated to Aristotelian arts. New subjects, such as geology etc, taken up in Jesuit
colleges in 17t c. Many other subjects didn’t find their homes there, which helped to shape how the
scientific revolution developed. By 1600, there was a large audience for books of all kinds, including on
philosophical discussions etc. Language you write in says something about who your audience is. Galileo
writing in Italian indicated he was trying to reach the urban elite who were the intelligent public, not just
Accademia dei Lincei
or ‘Academy of the Lynxes’), Rome; founded 1603 as a
small group by Federico Cesi; added Galileo in 1611; focused on natural history and Galilean physics;
broke up after Cesi’s death in 1630. It wasn’t a permanent institution, but it helped to lay the ground work
at the time.
Accademia del Cimento
(‘Academy of Experiment’), Florence; founded 1657 by Prince Leopold de
Medici. Promoted experimentation; broke up c. 1667. Founders trying to keep the new science alive in
Italy, but they couldn't’ talk about controversial topics like physics of motion or Copernican system. They
focus on something safe, like experiments. Did a lot of experiments together and then published the results
afterwards in one volume. Made science a joint activity.
— Group centered on Friar Marin
(1588–1648), Paris; ‘one-man scientific journal,’ circulated
scientific information throughout Europe.
— Montmor Academy (1640s–50s), Paris scientific salon, run by
This academy makes
some contributions but doesn’t do much long term.
Royal Society of London
for Improving Natural Knowledge (1660–present); founded by English
Baconians, became one of the most prestigious scientific groups. Secured royal charter from King Charles
II in 1662, but remained amateur and self-supporting. Humphrey said the Royal Society aimed to improve
all matters of science putting aside religion/politics/metaphysics, etc. They didn’t get any funding, so had to
be self-supporting. It relied only on the payment of dues from its members. if you were a wealthy man and
showed an interest in the topics then you were in, women excluded. Group experiments not that productive,
so they changed to a forum of communication where people could discuss work they did elsewhere, rather
than doing experiments on the spot. Then the great fire of London in 1666, they had to move.
Académie Royale des Sciences
Royal Academy of Sciences
), Paris (1666–present). Group of elite
professionals paid by French state; combination of expert consultants and ornaments of the court. French
didn’t want the English to get too far ahead of them so advocated for a group paid for by the gov. Paris
academy was very inward looking, didn’t contribute much to the wider advancement of science.